NBC’s Prime-Time Jay Leno Experiment Ending, Late Night Lineup Could Be Shuffling

By: Carson O’Shoney

PASADENA, Calif. (UTC/AP) — NBC said Sunday it decided to pull the plug on the Jay Leno experiment when some affiliate stations considered dropping the nightly prime-time show, and the network has a new plan for it’s weekday late night lineup.

NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin said that “The Jay Leno Show” at 10 p.m. EST will end with the Feb. 12 beginning of the Winter Olympics, which will air in the prime-time hours, including Leno’s slot.

NBC wants to begin airing Leno’s show at 11:35 p.m. after the Olympics end Feb. 28, but as a half-hour show, Gaspin said.

The plan calls for O’Brien to retain his job with “Tonight” but at the later hour of 12:05 a.m. EST, Gaspin said. Also in the mix is Jimmy Fallon and his “Late Night.” Fallon’s show would be pushed a half-hour later as well, to 1:05 a.m. EST.

“My goal is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy as our late-night lineup,” Gaspin said, adding later that they “have the weekend to think about it” and discussions with them will resume Monday.

Conan O’Brien released a statement today stating that he has no intentions of being a part of damaging “the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” and he “has no idea what happens next.”

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